Slumdog Millionaire (UK-US, 2008)

Money for anyone

Money for anyone

At the time of writing Slumdog Millionaire has taken $37m at the North American box office – great news for a UK film. This success looks to be replicated in the UK; an opening weekend of nearly £2m. For a film that’s set in India, includes subtitles for some scenes, and depicts the horrendous poverty that many children experience in Mumbai, this is very good business. Of course, there is the feel-good romance too.

In North America the film benefited from a platform release: it opened on 10 screens, gradually building up to 600 after five weeks. This allows word of mouth to build and avoids the costs associated with wide releases.

I loved the first three quarters: Danny Boyle’s invigorating direction (unusual angles; canted frames; ‘music video’ editing for chases); great narrative device, using the Who wants to be a millionaire? questions to tell the protagonist’s tale; unblinking depictions of poverty and violence. By the end, the schmaltz takes over but the film can be forgiven this price of commercial success, as no doubt many people have learned about the inequalities of the Indian economic miracle.

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4 Responses

  1. I never found if schmaltzy at all, it had a happy ending and after everything I had seen before it I think it had the right to do that. Fantastic direction, stunning immersive cinematography and some great acting. If the Academy awards were sensible this would win Best Picture.

  2. I saw Slumdog Millionaire today. Boyle has really done a good job with this movie. While the movie deals with the gory details of the underbelly of Mumbai, it doesnt really leave you with a sick feeling. The story feels like a commentary and at the end you just feel good about the whole movie. Very well done I must say.

    The music score by Rehman is amazing, the actors who played junior Jamal and Salim were the real stars. They were simply too good. Freida Pinto had just 15 mins of screen presence. I think she was overhyped.

  3. And me, Roger Ebert, Mark Kermode, Empire Magazine, Critic’s Choice Awards, 4 Golden Globes, 11 BAFTA Nominations and 10 Oscar Nominations prove you wrong

  4. Oh yes and 8 Academy Award wins just sort of shove that in there

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